The 1911 is one of the most well-known platforms in the world, but they aren’t exactly the easiest to conceal. For this reason, companies around the world have worked to provide the 1911 platform in more concealable compact models. Over recent years there has been a bevy of great options, and we compiled a list of 10 to get you started.
10 Compact 1911 Pistols for 2023
1 – Springfield 1911 Ronin EMP 4″ 9mm
Building on the popular Ronin platform from Springfield Armory, the Ronin EMP 4” comes in at a more concealed carry-friendly size. Standing for “Enhanced Micro Pistol,” the EMP 4” was specifically engineered around the 9mm cartridge. Additionally, the frame delivers a reduced circumference for enhanced ergonomics and compact dimensions.
The Ronin EMP didn’t just shorten the barrel to 4 inches, it also features 11 proprietary parts distinct from a standard 1911. This includes the frame, slide, firing pin, firing pin spring, extractor, ejector, trigger, plunger tube, plunger tube assembly, grips, and magazine. Correspondingly, the single-stack magazine offers a 10-round capacity.
For more information, please visit Springfield-Armory.com.
2 – Wilson Combat SFX9 3.25
Part of Wilson Combat’s SFX9 series, the 3.25 top-end is mated with the SF (Solid Frame) lightweight, full-size aluminum grip. As a result, you get the feel of a full-size 1911, with the concealment of a sub-compact. In addition, the Wilson Combat X-Tac tread pattern provides improved control in all shooting conditions.
The slide assembly retains the company’s “Enhanced Reliability System” (ERS) for 9mm 1911s. Additionally, the hand-fitted 3.25-inch barrel design has the same match-grade accuracy potential as the larger EDC X9 pistols. Granted, it is a sub-compact, but the whole point of this article is 1911s you can carry and easily conceal. And this makes that a reality.
For more information, please visit WilsonCombat.com.
3 – Rock Island Armory BBR 3.10 9MM
Rock Island Armory is known for delivering rock-solid performance, and the BBR (Baby Rock) 3.10 exemplifies this. Coming in at only 1.62 pounds loaded, the BBR 3.10 is a compact 1911 ideal for concealed carry. Featuring a 3.10-inch barrel, chambered in 9mm, the BBR also falls into the sub-compact category, providing ultimate concealability.
Textured G-10 grip panels provide a secure interface between man and steel during courses of fire. Likewise, a comfortable beavertail grip safety protects the hand from potential slide bite from the diminutive pistol. Rounds are sent downrange via a skeletonized trigger with 5 – 7-pound pull and an adjustable overtravel screw.
For more information, please visit Armscor.com.
4 – Staccato C2
Promising the same durability and reliability as the Staccato P, the C2 features the 3.9-inch Recoil Master System. As a result, the C2 promises 30% recoil reduction and enhanced accuracy in a carry-friendly compact size. Correspondingly, the built-in fiber optic Dawson Precision Perfect Impact front sight couples with the Dawson Precision Charger rear sight. As a result, comes fast target acquisition, even in low-light conditions.
In addition, the C2 features a 3.9-inch bull barrel, providing another level of recoil mitigation for faster follow-up shots. Rounds are sent downrange via the skeletonized trigger with a 4 – 4.5-pound pull and adjustable overtravel screw. Featuring a 2011-style double-stack magazine, the C2 provides 16+1-round capacity.
For more information, please visit Staccato2011.com.
5 – Colt Defender
A roundup of 1911s without a Colt could be grounds for public flogging or at least a good old-fashioned tar-and-feathering. The Defender builds on an aluminum alloy frame with Cerakote matte stainless or Cerakote matte black (blued) finish. Riding atop the frame is a stainless-steel slide with brushed stainless finish or carbon steel slide with blued finish.
Custom G-10, partially checkered, black cherry grips provide the classic Colt aesthetic with the Colt logo embedded in the center. Likewise, the Colt upswept beavertail grip safety provides ample protection from slide bite. Rounds are sent downrange via the three-hole aluminum trigger with a 4.5 – 6-pound pull. The Defender is available in either .45 ACP (7+1 round capacity) or 9mm (8+1 round capacity).
For more information, please visit Colt.com.
6 – SIG Sauer 1911 Fastback Emperor Scorpion Carry
Featuring a stainless-steel frame with rounded grip and mainspring housing, the Fastback Emperor Scorpion compact 1911 from Sig Sauer stands out with its FDE PVD finish. Likewise, the finish keeps the pistol extremely durable and wear/corrosion resistant. Additionally, the dark Piranha textured G-10 magwell grips and upswept beavertail safety provide a comfortable and secure interface.
The stainless-steel slide houses the 4.2-inch carbon steel barrel chambered in .45 Auto. A skeletonized SAO trigger sends rounds downrange from the 8-round magazine. Correspondingly, SIGLITE night sights provide positive target acquisition, even in low-light conditions.
For more information, please visit SigSauer.com.
7 – Kimber KDS9c 9mm
Okay, point stipulated, the KDS9c is more of a hybrid with a 1911 slide and action on a 7075 aerospace-grade aluminum frame. However, with the exception of an external extractor, no grip safety on the beavertail, and a bushingless barrel design, it features traditional 1911 mechanics. Additionally, the stainless-steel slide features aggressive forward and rear cocking serrations and comes optic-ready.
Housed within the slide is a fully fluted, crowned, and ramped 4.09-inch barrel with a 1:10 LH twist. The skeletonized trigger comes with a factory-set crisp 3.5-4.5-pound pull for enhanced accuracy. The KDS9c ships with two 15-round magazines, but Kimber have 18-round magazines available soon.
For more information, please visit KimberAmerica.com.
8 – Nighthawk Custom Treasurer
When it comes to 1911s, Nighthawk Custom is another name that is synonymous with the platform. Part of the company’s Boardroom series, the Treasurer is the fourth installment and was built specifically for concealed carry. In beautiful 1911 style, the Treasurer features textured Railscales Ascend G-10 grips with a beavertail safety for enhanced control.
The hand-fit slide includes heavy forward and rear angle cuts for easy manipulation. Likewise, windows in the front of the slide showcase the Gold Titanium Nitride crowned 3.8-inch bull barrel, chambered in 9mm. Correspondingly, a Heinie Ledge solid black rear sight couples with a 14K solid gold bead front sight.
For more information, please visit NighthawkCustom.com.
9 – Smith & Wesson Performance Center SW1911 Pro Series
Smith & Wesson’s Performance Center is known for remaining true to “stock” while providing next-level enhancements. Featuring a scandium alloy frame, the SW1911 Pro comes in at a carry friendly 26 ounces, empty. In addition, checkered grip panels, frontstrap, and mainspring housing couple with a beavertail safety for a secure grip and protection against slide bite.
Chambered in .45 Auto, the stainless-steel slide houses the 3-inch stainless-steel barrel. Correspondingly, the 3-hole curved trigger features an adjustable overtravel stop and crisp break. The SW1911 Pro ships with two 7-round magazines.
For more information, please visit Smith-Wesson.com.
10 – Girsan MC1911 SC Ultimate
The MC1911 SC Ultimate from Girsan is available in your choice of .45 ACP (6+1 round capacity) or 9mm (7+1 round capacity). Featuring a subcompact frame, the pistol is ideal for full concealment. However, the laminate G-10 grip panels, with visual capacity window and beavertail grip safety, provide secure retention when firing.
Riding atop the frame is a milled slide with rear cocking serrations and an optic cut. The rear sight sits on the optic cover plate, so it will be removed when installing a red dot sight. However, the pistol can be purchased with the 4-MOA Far-Dot optic with built-in fiber-optic rear sight for co-witnessing.
For more information, please visit EAACorp.com.